Buying a gun, particularly a used one, requires a certain amount of inspection. Assessing the condition and function of the gun's most crucial parts is necessary. One of the most crucial parts the gun is the barrel, and more specifically, the bore. The bore is inside of the barrel, through which the bullet travels. You need to know what the bore should look like, how it should respond to various types of inspection and what tools give you the most accurate picture of the bore.
Things You'll Need
- 1 Rifle cleaning rod
- 30 Rifle cleaning patches
- Cleaning solvent
- Bore scope
Find a clean line of sight into the barrel from the bullet's point of entry for a naked eye inspection. Request permission from the gun seller to remove the bolt assembly, if applicable. If you are inspecting a break-barrel gun, simply break the barrel to obtain the proper line of sight. Now, peer down the barrel. If this is a rifled bore, look for even and smooth rifling without signs of wear or inconsistencies. If you're looking down a smooth bore barrel, like that of a standard shotgun, look also for inconsistencies, dings, or worse still, dents. If any of these are visible to the naked eye, the bore of the gun may be mildly to severely compromised.
Test for bore cleanliness and inconsistencies that may be hidden by rifle oil. Ask the seller for permission to run a cleaning patch through the gun. If the patch comes out mildly to significantly dirty it is an indication that the gun, and so the bore, has not been cleaned recently, and may not be cleaned regularly. This can lead to bore irregularities.
Ask the seller's permission to clean the barrel and bore. Run patches with solvent through the barrel until they come out clean. Do not oil the gun. Run four to five more patches through to dry the barrel and then check for inconsistencies with the naked eye. With the bore oil-free, dings, grooves, gouges and dents are going to be more visible.
Examine the bore with a bore scope, if possible. If the gun is high-priced or you are particularly concerned with the state of the bore, this is where a bore scope comes in handy. The thin fiber optic tube can be inserted into the barrel to get an up-close, 365-degree image of the barrel. There are also models and accessories designed to follow the rifling. This tool and technique is considered the only surefire way of discovering nearly all bore ailments and inconsistencies, though it is still not foolproof. A modern bore scope can run between $1,000 to $2,000, so it is rare that the average gun owner or even gun buyer has one.
- "Gunsmithing"; Rifles; Patrick Sweeney; 1999
- Chuck Hawks; Buying a Used Rifle; Chuck Hawkes
- Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
How to Buy a Gun
Owning a gun is a privilege that many people decide to take advantage of at some point in their lives. Guns are...
How to Sight in a Rifle Without a Scope
All rifles start without a scope. However, prior to the scope invention, the manufactures equipped all rifles with "iron sights." These are...
How to Bore Sight a Pistol
Generally, bore sighting a handgun is impractical and is not a common practice. Handguns are close range weapons and are not typically...
How to Clean Rifles
The condition of a rifle and its continued safe use depend on regular cleaning. Even when storing rifles, yearly cleaning keeps the...
How to Bore-Sight a .22 Rifle
The .22 Long Rifle, or .22 LR, is the world's most popular caliber. It is cheap to shoot and has very little...
Things to Look for at Your Home Inspection
Buying a home is a large investment, and you should make sure you know the condition of the home you are purchasing....
How to Boresight a Rifle Scope
Boresighting a rifle scope is done to assure that the cross hairs are aligned with where the center line of the bore...